Carbon Fibre Do-over

CF Plain Weave: Try Again

I have found out the hard way that some of my carbon fibre decals – specifically, the plain weave – don’t look right. The pattern is just too large to fit the scale of the model. Here is a sample from the cockpit (images from Super Detail File: Mazda 787B) showing that the plain weave used is very fine. Scale Motorsport‘s 1/12 decals (part 1412) have too big a pattern so I am changing to their 1/24 scale decals.

On the plus side, the wave pattern (twill weave?) used on the Mazda is much larger and I think it’s well represesnted by Model Factory Hiro ‘s part 1135.

So, after sending the dashboard to the ‘sin bin’ (a jar filled with acetone) and repainting, I am redoing all the plain weave carbon fiber decals for Sections 1 and 2 – dashboard, dashboard cover, and fuses. I have also redone the top of the fuel filler necks.

Dashboard Cover in More Detail

The most most complex piece (so far, anyway) to cover with CF decals is the dashboard cover (part RE14) as it has a ‘bump’ in it which curves in two directions. It took me many attempts to get this covered, so I thought I would share my final, successful, attempt in a series of photos. The decal was cut oversize and initially stretched over the bump. I then used Micro Set and Micro Sol to progressively soften and sag the decal down over the bump. The main ingredient here is patience – I nursed this one decal over the painted part for 9 hours during the day, and then let it dry overnight…

Here is the completed part, with the other decals applied, and the whole thing covered with a Satin Varnish top coat. Some tiny wrinkles can still be seen BUT the part actually looks better in real life. The pattern is probably still too big for scale, but any smaller and it wouldn’t be worth applying the decals.

I will show some other CF parts – the dashboard and fuel cell in particular – in my next post.

2 thoughts on “Carbon Fibre Do-over

  1. Awesome tutorial Jason. I’ve used ScaleMotorsport carbon decal a fair bit but didn’t realise how stretchy it was given time and patience. Great job.

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    1. Hi Robin, thanks for the comment. The decals were pretty tough BUT only until the Micro Sol is on them … once that stuff is on the decals will split, or the colour will rub off, with anything but the most sensitive handling. I found pressing the decal was OK but rubbing it was BAD.

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